San Francisco legislator launches the CAREN Act to ban 911 calls “based on race and race”

San Francisco supervisor Shamann Walton joined “The Story” on Wednesday to discuss the CAREN Act, the legislation proposed by Walton that would punish so-called “false emergency reports with racial bias.”

“If you look at what’s been happening across the country, you see people making these frivolous and arbitrary calls to 911,” Walton told host Trace Gallagher. “And what happens? You put people of color in contact with the police. And in some cases, there are some very serious consequences that can cause harm to human beings.

“But in some cases, they have also led to death,” Walton continued. “Therefore, no one should call 911 to arm 911 against people of color, blacks, or any other protected class.”


The CAREN Act means precaution against non-emergencies of racial exploitation. The name is a play about “Karen,” a pejorative term that has come to stand out for labeling a demanding, middle-aged white woman who displays a dominant sense of entitlement in various social confrontations.

The term gained worldwide currency after an incident on May 25 that involved Amy Cooper, a white woman called by an African-American bird watcher who had confronted Cooper about her dog being off-leash on the walk. from Central Park.

Walton told Gallager that similar cases occurred in San Francisco.

“We have had people in the Bay Area call 911 when people are having barbecues. People are, in front of their own house, writing ‘Black Lives Matter’ in chalk and people have called the police about them.

“So it’s really about protecting people here in San Francisco, across the state and across the country,” Walton said. “And this is not a new phenomenon. It is just happening that we are catching people right now. In fact, we may even go back to 1955, when Emmett Till was assassinated and killed for a frivolous and fraudulent complaint against him.” “


Walton emphatically denied that his proposal would discourage people from calling the police in genuine emergencies.

“It is not an emergency to write ‘Black Lives Matter’ on your own property. It is not an emergency to be in New York to watch birds,” he said. “So when people want to say, ‘This is going to stop people from calling the police or making a dispatcher nervous,’ no … this is about discrimination. These are people who are loaded with race and race. phone calls. And that has to stop. “